When last we checked in on ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jim Smith, he was in Riyadh, celebrating the Fourth of July in March. (Riyadh is brutally hot in July and the dust storms are not a lot of fun, hence the date change.)

Smith, a career Air Force officer and fighter pilot who retired in 2002 as a brigadier general and then worked for Raytheon, was appointed ambassador in 2009, having met Obama during his first presidential campaign. Smith recalls that he “met candidate Obama sitting on a hay bale at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and I joined as a volunteer on the campaign in 2007.” (Musta been an impressive bale.)

He’s now joining the Cohen Group as a senior counselor, focusing on Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States among other things.